So, I may have not been a celebrity baby, but my mum sure did pick an unconventional name for me. That is if you live in the west hemisphere, which I always have. All my life I had the same problem. People don’t know either how to spell or how to pronounce my name. It used to bother me but after 30 years you get used to it and simply smile away. it’s cool! It happens, as a matter fact it might happen to a lot of people specially when socializing with people from all parts of the world. It does not offend me in any way and as a matter fact I do let people mispronounce it sometimes.
Yet when you start to work in PR and people should be able to remember your name, things start getting a little tricky.
Hence this post… not a rant but an introduction lol
My name is Jihane. Jihane or also written Jihene has its roots in Arabic. Some claim the name is Persian; others claim it as Egyptian or even Lebanese. The truth of the matter is that is Arab in nature. Some sources claim that the name Jihane (جيهان) signifies life on earth and it is common in all Arab countries especially Egypt. Jihane is pronounced with an emphasis on the H and the E is not pronounced at all, it’s just a decorative E . Many claim (including my mother) the use of the E at the end of the name was used as a way to differentiate it as a female name, from its male form Jihan but I have also seen females named Jihan instead of Jihane. In other words the name was “French-ised” since French female names tend to end with an E, just like many Spanish female names end with an A. (Maria, Sofia, Carolina, Josefina…you get the drill)
Some Arab dialects claim the name means Universe, others that means Universal Peace, and others that is a name given to the colour of the sky towards the end of the night. I found this online “In the Persian language, the word jahan (جهان), also used as a surname, means world or universe. Poetically, the Persian origin of the name might evoke the magnificence, the splendour and majesty that surround us.”
Wow, so many nice things about my name! Lol
So the story goes like this. Back in 1982 when I was born in England, in the beginning of the Spring the Falkland Island war was in full bloom. A group of my parent’s close friends gave them a few baby girl name ideas. Vanessa, Shibon, Michelle and Jihane were among the favourites. My mother was told my name signified Peace and what a better way to call your soon to be born spring child in the midst of a war between England and Argentina but Peace. And so the rest is history. My full name was a combination of historic events, intercultural peers and my dad’s love for the Beatles song “Michelle” which happens to be my middle name. Jihane Michelle… (Which by the way, does not match my very Hispanic last name)
That’s me, intercultural from birth. Born in England to Venezuelan parents, baptized in French (yet not in France) by a French Priest and now living in Houston, Texas…
Catch you later!